"Do not let anyone change who you are. Be a voice."
Jacqueline Fisher was fed up with people looking at her differently and never hearing her ideas. So she decided to take a stand for herself and others by creating a student run program called "Be Individualistic." The program is not only an online blog but also a movement at her school for everyone who has ideas to express, no matter how "different" they may be.
YES, Jacqueline! You are PERFECT just the way you are.
Every Ella: Hi Jacqueline! Please tell us about yourself.
Jacqueline Fisher: I currently reside in San Diego, California attending Torrey Pines High School. I am an avid reader, writer, and jewelry designer. Struggling to achieve recognition as an individual, I created 'Be Individualistic' to allow others to express themselves through various outlets of creativity and to promote the development of one's voice. My other interests include watching Tom Cruise movies, acting, screenwriting, and scrapbooking.
You started a website called “Beindividualistic.com”. Can you tell us about the website and its mission?
Founded in 2014, Be Individualistic’s goal is to provide a website where the concept of individualism is valued and serves to potentially motivate others. Be Individualistic celebrates the ability to have a voice: to be freely opinionated. Everybody has something to say. Our authors are simply individuals finding their place in the world. Be Individualistic serves as a platform for young people to express themselves through authentic and tangible pieces of writing and film.
You also started a club called The Be Individualistic Club at your school. What do you do in this club?
The club focuses on creating an accepting environment where students can actively facilitate their creativity through writing, poetry, and video film. All members or "Individualists" attend meetings twice a month to submit their pieces to be featured on the site.
What inspired you to start this site and club?
There is a line actually from Jerry Maguire that sums it up: “I had so much to say and no one to listen.” I felt that way for a long time. I was tired of people who immediately dismissed my ideas because they couldn't possibly understand them. I needed to find an outlet that I could call my own. I wanted to feel a part of something bigger than myself. Initially, the website was just a way for me to be introspective and reflect my thoughts. I then realized that there are so many people who want to be heard and express their utmost thoughts like me. The Be Individualistic Club is one way I gain content for the site. The club also serves to encourage others to have a voice and not let anyone change who they are.
What has been the most challenging part of running the site and the club?
I run the website on my own. Updating the website can be challenging with school, but manageable.
Do you hope to extend the club to other schools?
I would love to. I have a few college students who are a part of The Be Individualistic Club, as well as a few students from another high school. I would eventually like to expand Be Individualistic itself and solidify it as brand.
When you graduate will you encourage the school to maintain the club for you?
The club is non-school sponsored and run by myself, however, I would like to encourage other clubs to promote creative and thoughtful environments for their members. The website is incorporated with The Be Individualistic Club, so obviously that part of the club would dissipate at my high school once I’ve graduated. I want to keep The Be Individualistic Club and remain in contact with all of my club members to allow for open submissions even after graduating. My website has open submissions for pieces of writing, poetry, photography, and film. Pieces can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are your ambitions and goals for the future?
I would like to become a director and screenwriter in the future.
Name one woman who inspires you.
Audrey Hepburn inspires me. She was such a class act. She was never just one thing; she was a humanitarian, an actress, and an icon.
What advice would you give to girls today?
People are very scared and awestruck of different people who falter the normality of pretenses present in society. Just because you’re mature, yet have a childlike and creative perspective on life, does not make you weird. You’re weirdly wonderful. Those people who actually look at what bothers them and seek to manipulate their thoughts and actually build something, are revered in some way. That reverence is sometimes never seen because people don’t want to expose to others that they actually might have liked what you had to say. Let’s not lose what makes us to profoundly forthcoming with ourselves despite other people’s indifferences. Do not let anyone change who you are. Be a voice.